What a journey it’s been for the Flaming Lips. The band was many places before recording 1999’s The Soft Bulletin and securing a place on the indie pedestal. But regardless of whether the members were recording experimental pop or acid-tinged noise, they have in their twenty-plus-years together been perfecting their live show. A Lips concert is a spectacle, and it’s always worth the price of admission. Where else can you witness Santa Clauses dancing with Martians?
U.F.O.’s at the Zoo, a live-DVD/live-CD hybrid, gets us close to the action. The performance is heavy on tunes from At War with the Mystics (2006), with the bulk of the balance being spread among material from The Soft Bulletin and 2002’s wonderful Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots. And the sound and video, captured by Fearless Freaks director Bradley Beesley, is pristine.
This performance (at the Oklahoma City Zoo in 2006) is not flawless, but it is an accurate depiction of what you’ve been missing if you’ve never seen the Flaming Lips live. It’s also a warm and fuzzy reminder if you have. It’s exactly the kind of special show that merits a release in the era of hard drives bloated with bootlegs.
“Do You Realize” video: http://www.amazon.com/gp/mpd/permalink/m4U4RF5NY4XLQ/103-3954157-2023018